South China Sea
The South China Sea lies to the south of the China mainland and is bounded by the coastlines of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, and Taiwan. In the south-west it becomes the Gulf of Thailand. To the south the Serat Karimata gives access to the Java Sea; to the east the Balabac and Mindoro straits give access to the Sulu Sea and the Luzon Strait north of the Philippines gives access to the Pacific Ocean. The South China Sea contains a number of small island groups, uninhabited or inhabited only on a temporary basis by fishermen or by military detachments. These include the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimates that roughly 80% of global trade by volume and 70% by value is transported by sea. Of that volume, 60% of maritime trade passes through Asia, with the South China Sea carrying an estimated one-third of global shipping.
The People's Republic of China lays claim to all the islands in the South China Sea and shipping lanes; these claims are disputed by other nations bordering the sea. This rivalry is given added impetus by the large oil and gas reserves known to exist in the area.
According to a July 13, 2021 report in The Washington Times:
|"China's military recently deployed electronic warning and surveillance aircraft and helicopters on two disputed islands in the South China Sea in what analysts say is a sign that the People's Liberation Army has begun routine air operations from the bases.
"Satellite images obtained by The Washington Times show deployments in May and June of PLA KJ-500 airborne warning and control aircraft to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands. Other satellite photos showed the stationing of a Y-9 transport aircraft and Z-8 helicopter to Subi Reef in June and this month.
"Last year, KQ-200 anti-submarine warfare aircraft were deployed on a third island base on Fiery Cross Reef.
In 2018, the PRC installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles on Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands. The land-based YJ-12B anti-ship cruise missiles can strike surface vessels within 295 nautical miles. The long-range HQ-9B surface-to-air missiles have an expected range of targeting aircraft, drones and cruise missiles within 160 nautical miles. The PLA has also installed communications jamming and radar equipment.
The Philippine government filed an arbitration case with the Permanent Court of Arbitration against China in 2013 after China seized a reef over which both countries claim sovereignty. In addition to ruling against China's claim of historic rights to the South China Sea, the court found that China had violated the Philippines' sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone by interfering with its fishing and petroleum exploration, as well as by constructing artificial islands in the Spratly Islands archipelago, which had caused "severe harm to the coral reef environment".
China has constructed artificial islands around seven reefs in the Spratly Islands archipelago. The islands are central to Beijing's apparent ambition to "have absolute control" over the South China Sea, which holds an estimated 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 11 billion barrels of oil in proven and probable reserves, in addition to maritime resources such as fish.
In early 2012 vessels from the PRC mainland swarmed Scarborough Shoal which lies within the Philippines exclusive economic zone (EEZ) after the Philippines detained Chinese poachers. The shoal, just rocks above the high-tide waterline, is strategic because it guards the approaches to Manila and Subic Bays. It is only 124 nautical miles from the main Philippine island of Luzon and about 550 nautical miles from Hainan Island of the People's Republic of China (PRC).
Only the Philippines complied with a supposed agreement reported by the MSM brokered by the Obama administration for the PRC to withdraw their ships from Scarborough Shoal. In a White House press conference with barack Obama, Xi Jinping made a commitment not to “militarize” artificial islands that Beijing was building. The PRC, however, has been in firm control of Scarborough Shoal ever since. The Obama administration, despite the brazen Chinese seizure, decided not to enforce the agreement it arranged.
According to a July 12, 2021 article from Associated Press:
|"Satellite images over the last five years show how human waste, sewage and wastewater have accumulated and caused algae in a cluster of reefs in the Spratlys region where hundreds of Chinese fishing ships have anchored in batches, said Liz Derr, who heads Simularity Inc., a software company creating artificial intelligence technologies for satellite imagery analysis.
"At least 236 ships were spotted in the atoll, internationally known as Union Banks, on June 17 alone, she said at a Philippine online news forum on China's actions in the South China Sea, which Beijing has claimed virtually in its entirety.
"'When the ships don't move, the poop piles up,' Derr said. 'The hundreds of ships that are anchored in the Spratlys are dumping raw sewage onto the reefs they are occupying.'
"'This is a catastrophe of epic proportions and we are close to the point of no return,' Derr said."
In March 2021, some 220 Chinese Maritime Militia vessels descended on Whitsun Reef, which lies within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. The Philippine government called on China to cease "militarizing the area". In July 2021, the CCP mouthpiece Global TImes reported, "The Chinese government's position on the arbitration is clear, 'not accept, not participate, and not recognize'... The 'arbitral award' deemed by China as 'a piece of scrap paper' has long been thrown into the dustbin of history."
Johnson South Reef
In June 2021, 16 People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAD) planes flew over a Malaysian maritime exclusive economic zone. Additionally, China Coast Guard vessels harassed Malaysian oil and gas developments at the Kasawari field offshore Malaysia exclusive economic zone for the third time in 18 months.
- See also: Quad Alliance
In May 2021, the Biden regime greenlighted its Chinese Communist allies to pursue PRC territorial demands, invade Taiwan, and spread its anti-democratic and genocidal worldview outside Chinese borders.
- Julian Felipe Reef to the Philippines and Niu’e Jiao to China